Regional Rundown: Valley-based strategic priorities decided by RDEK

(RDEK)Board adopted an 18-month Strategic Priorities Plan. This is the work plan for RDEK staff, outside of day-to-day operations.

At our July meeting, the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK)Board adopted an 18-month Strategic Priorities Plan (July 1st, 2015 to December 31st, 2016).  Basically, this is the work plan for RDEK staff, outside of day-to-day operations.

The Board and senior management worked for several months fine-tuning this plan and ensuring that it was reasonable in terms of staff capacity and financial resources.

We started with a “wish list,”which included about 70 different projects from throughout the region.  We then looked at the status of projects that were carried forward from the previous plan and evaluated them in terms of completion and meeting community needs.

For the most part, incomplete projects from the previous plan were carried forward and the staff time remaining available was allocated to new projects.

The Board then applied criteria to the each new project on the wish list: how they fit into our regional sustainability strategy, public support for the project, was it a new project, was there funding for the project, were external partners required, and was there a sense of urgency for the project to be completed.

The final Strategic Priorities Plan is a three-page document that sets project work for RDEK staff for the next 18 months. Items of interest for the Columbia Valley include:

• Construction of a water reservoir for Windermere

• Fairmont Creek Flood Control – complete Phase 1 and secure funding for Phase 2

• Radium Resort and Dry Gulch Fire – process to purchase a water tender

• Edgewater School Path – assume responsibility for maintenance under Area G Parks service

• Westside Legacy Trail – assume responsibility for maintenance once Trail is constructed

• Toby Benches Official Community Plan

• Investigate construction of transfer stations in/near Invermere and Radium, Invermere Library – if new building, examine funding options and undertake public consultation

• Treated water for Windermere

• Columbia Valley Recreation Service — boundary extension to the north

• Rushmere Fire Service – examine possibility of providing fire service

While we do our best to follow this plan, there is a degree of flexibility built into it for new projects that are deemed urgent. To take on new projects, the Board either has to increase capacity (usually means adding more staff) or postpone a project already in the plan.

Wendy Booth is the Regional District of East Kootenay Director for Area F and the RDEK board’s vice chair. She can be reached at or 250-345-6155.